New York issues subpoena to Amherst vaping company for selling products with vitamin E acetate oil

Mass Terpenes has pulled products with vitamin E acetate from website

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New York issues subpoena to Amherst vaping company for selling products with vitamin E acetate oil

By Will Mallas, Assistant News Editor

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The New York State Department of Health issued subpoenas on Sept. 9 against three electronic cigarette companies, including Mass Terpenes in Amherst, in the fight against vaping-related illnesses.

The subpoenas were issued to Mass Terpenes and two other companies, Honey Cut Labs LLC in Santa Monica, California, and Floraplex Terpenes in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for selling vaping products that contain vitamin E acetate oil, according to a press release from New York officials.

Vitamin E acetate oil has been found in “’thickening agents’ used in black market vaping products” which the three companies were marketing and selling, the press release said.

Mass Terpenes has since pulled its “Pure Diluent” product and any other product containing vitamin E from its online store and has issued a notice to its customers urging companies to “not include vitamin E thickeners in anything you make or sell, and please notify your customers to avoid all products containing it.”

Mass Terpenes also said on its website that it intended to “cooperate fully” with state and federal officials in investigations into vitamin E and vaping related illnesses.

“Mass Terpenes will be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” the website reads. “Please know that we have never sold a product without assurances of safety from the leading terpene suppliers, and have taken steps to ensure that absolutely NO products on this site contain Vitamin E acetate.”

In a report from the Department of Health, New York State’s Wadsworth Laboratory analyzed samples from patients with lung-related illnesses who have used “at least one cannabis-containing vape product prior to becoming ill” and found vitamin E acetate in “nearly all” samples. In addition, “at least one vitamin E acetate containing vape product has been linked to each patient that submitted a product for testing.”

Vitamin E is “not known to cause harm” when taken as a vitamin supplement or applied on skin, the press release notes, but the Department of Health plans to continue investigating the substance to determine if it has an impact on respiratory systems.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo also ordered the Department of Health to issue emergency regulations requiring vape shops to post signage warning of the “dangers of vaping.”

On Sept. 17, Cuomo announced an emergency executive action to “ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes” in the state of New York.

“It is undeniable that vaping companies are deliberately using flavors like bubblegum, Captain Crunch and cotton candy to get young people hooked on e-cigarettes – it’s a public health crisis and it ends today,” Cuomo said. “New York is not waiting for the federal government to act, and by banning flavored e-cigarettes we are safeguarding the public health and helping prevent countless young people from forming costly, unhealthy and potentially deadly life-long habits.”

The governor also plans to conduct undercover investigations with underage youth through the Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act to find tobacco and vaping retailers who are selling products to underage customers.

The Centers for Disease Control announced the eighth U.S. death caused from vaping-related illnesses, according to reporting from Forbes. President Donald Trump announced his intention to place a ban on flavored e-cigarettes nationally on Sept. 11.

“We have a problem in our country. It’s a new problem. It’s a problem no one really thought about too much a few years ago, and it’s called vaping,” Trump said at the oval office in a video uploaded to C-SPAN’s YouTube channel. “People think it’s an easy solution to cigarettes, but it’s turned out that it has its own difficulties.”

Will Mallas can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @willmallas.